|Mr A in Brussels last year|
If you read the blog you will know we are passionate about travel, between John and I we have travelled to 26 countries and every year we try to make that number grow. In some ways it was easier before having kids but oh how much more exciting it is with Mr A. My father always believed that travel was one of the best educations you could give a child and it's something that we strongly encourage and agree with. Being able to try new food and sample other cultures is the perfect learning experience at any age and even though we are expecting our second child in a matter of days we have some exciting plans, ideas and travel dreams for 2015.
|The three of us enjoying Amsterdam|
A Scandinavian Cruise - we never really focused much on cruises before but last year we did an overnight ferry and Mr A loved being on a large ship and sleeping in a cabin with a big porthole and I think it's the perfect way to see amazing places in a relaxed and family friendly way. We are desperate to make it to Norway/Sweden/Denmark/Finland this year and with a baby as well as a 4yr old in tow we think the time is right to explore cruising options, especially as they offer so activities for little ones and get facilities of the whole family and being able to view a country from the water is very appealing, we are also huge fans of slow travel so fingers crossed we can make this happen this year.
|Mr A enjoying some sun in the South of France|
San Sebastian and Bilbao - We are craving some sea and sunshine and even though we have been to Spain before and love the vibrant city life of Barcelona and Madrid, exploring the stunning coast of San Sebastian and Bilbao with it's laid back surf culture and fresh food would make for the perfect late summer break, especially with it not being that far as we need to be realistic with two small kids. It's also steeped in culture and architectural delights.
|John and Mr A on the left bank in Paris|
A Week in Paris - we want to start making this a yearly tradition, having a nice relaxed week in Paris, not rushing from one place to another but simply enjoying being in the city. We plan to rent an apartment for at least 7 days and walk around as much as possible and taking the natural beauty of Paris. We stayed 3 days in the city last year and just felt it was not enough and can't wait to return.
An Irish Road trip - We are lucky enough to be based in South Wales which means it's actually not that far to Fishguard which has a ferry across to Rosslare in Ireland and thought what a great little road trip it would make to spend a few days exploring the South of Ireland on four wheels. A few years back I did a rail sail from Cardiff to Dublin and then took a train across to Galway and loved taking in the beautiful countryside and its one of those places that is so close to us yet somewhat overlooked.
Other places we are also hoping to visit is possibly Zurich and maybe a snow/ski trip as well as Luxembourg, Rome or Venice, Tallinn and St Petersburg, although saying our travel plans often change as the world is such an amazing and exciting place and who knows maybe we will wing it to Cuba this year and nowhere else. There are some amazing family travel sites popping up all the time which really help you plan an inspiring trip with tots in two and recently discovered totstoo which has some inspiring properties in incredible destinations as well as i-escape with kids which offers some luxury boutique stays suitable for families with young kids.
|Mr A enjoying glamping in a Bell Tent|
Staycations and mini breaks
With so many amazing places to say and explore in the UK every year we like to explore a new area or city
Oxfordshire - last year Mr A and I spent a night in Oxford while John was in Berlin and we loved it so much, such a visually stunning city we both agreed we needed to bring John her and explore this part of the world as a family. We are planning to visit Oxford around a month after having the new arrival, this will probably our first short break away with the four of us. We will go self catering and fancy giving SnapTrip a go as they have some beautiful properties.
Brighton beach - I have been to Brighton a few times but John has never been which despite being a bit of a MOD in his early years is somewhat surprising. I love all the vintage shops and market and natural food deli's as well as the iconic pebble beach it's a city we want to tick off as a family this year.
A Welsh Roadtrip - it is often true that we don't explore enough of what is on our doorstep and this year we really fancy driving from the the South if Wales to the North taking in Portmerion and Great Orme with is famous tram along the way. There are parts of Wales, especially around Snowdonia that are truly breath taking and are almost Lord of the Rings-esque and we can't wait to share as much local culture with Mr A and the new arrival
|Mr A and I enjoying some down time in West Wales|
Surfing in Cornwall - this is somewhat long overdue - I did a lot of surfing in my youth and spent half of my Uni days in Falmouth, Cornwall, again where I surfed as much as possible and I am itchy to get my wetsuit back on and back on the board and Cornwall really is the place in the UK to go to be in the best chance of some sun, sea and waves. We visited Bude in North Cornwall with Mr A two years ago but unfortunately the weather was terrible for the whole week but that has not deterred us from going again
Camping on Jersey - every year we go camping, usually somewhere rural as well as a festival or two. This year we want to take it little bit further afield and hopefully explore either Jersey or Guernsey and stay under canvas on one of these islands just off the coast of Normandy.
We also have our sights set on a possible break to Edinburgh, one of my favourite cities in the world and a place I used to call home for nearly two years and would love to take John and Mr A to share everything I love about the city. We generally also spent around 5 nights in London each year, we travel to London quite a lot as it's only two hours away but Mr A loves the city and find that having a few days a year there gives us time to explore the amazing parks, art galleries and museums in a more relaxed way.
|Mr A taking it all in on an European train trip|